Are you one of those types of people that while thinking you constantly put yourself in “what if” situations? For school I just took the Strengths Finder assessment test this week. This test asks a bunch of questions and from the answers it’s able to pin point your 5 greatest strengths or “themes” as they call it. With my results three of my themes were “learner”, “intellection” and “input.” Reading the descriptions of these themes they all have a lot to do with deep thinking so I was not surprised with these results. I’ve always been a deep thinker and have admitted before that at times this can seem more of a curse than a blessing. I think the key is learning to stay on the right train of thought and not allowing our minds to wonder into dark areas that stem depression or just negative thoughts in general. Our minds are so amazing we literally have to learn to tame them from trapping us into a mind state we don’t want to be in.
Ever since I was a young boy I have been an analytical thinker. My mom has told me stories of going shopping for a toy and not being able to make up my mind on which one I wanted. I would have to analyze every detail of each choice before finally making a decision. Often after coming home I would then get upset out of fear I had made the wrong choice. Do we do this with our faith? Do we choose what we believe or do our beliefs choose us?
On our road trip out to Georgia I obviously had a lot of time to think. I caught my mind pondering on the question: “What if I had been born into a predominantly Muslim country, would I have turned out to be a Muslim?” As I was thinking about this the Holy Spirit revealed something to me… I felt the presence of the Lord and He said, “Justin you’re not a Muslim. Stop focusing on the ‘what if’s’ and pay attention to ‘what is!'”
I quickly realized that all these “what if” questions are pointless, imaginary situations that only live in my head. This is not reality. Reality is the fact that I was not born into a Muslim family. Reality is that I am a Christian. Reality is “what is” not “what if!” We cannot waste our lives always pondering the “what if” questions. This would be living in make-believe land. I guess we do this to try and get a better understanding of the positions of others, but to be honest making up a situation in your head does not put you in someone else’s shoes. It’s still just a pretend situation that you’ve made up yourself, and if you have made this up yourself how can you possibly learn anything from it? I’m not saying it’s bad to try and see things from other people’s point of view but rather that we should stay focused on the reality that is our lives. Wondering where you’d be if you had made a different decision ten years ago or if you were born into a different family is really meaningless thinking. We need to focus on what we actually have going on in front of us and not hypothetical situations.
Reality is you’re here. Reality is we are alive. The miracle of our unexplainable existence is proof of something bigger. Reality is in my heart I know there is more to me than my flesh. There is something deep inside me, it’s my soul. My soul belongs to Him. What is, is God. God said to Moses: “I AM WHO I AM.” This is reality. Accept God or reject Him but good luck making any sense out of life without Him.
Without God I’m a crazy person left with my own self-righteous thoughts and digging my own grave. Without God my inner soul doesn’t exist. Without God there is no ultimate good to give us a moral law to stand by. Without God men might as well act like animals if that’s all we are. Without God I suppose the best thing in life would be pleasure of the flesh—which never brings fulfillment by the way. Without God I’m lost. Without God we will die and become nothing making our entire existence completely pointless, and with that questioning any reality at all. If we die and become nothing, then how is it possible that we are something? Without God life is meaningless and we’re all an accident. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Without God we don’t exist.
But… we do exist.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)